Saturday, May 21, 2022

Hashtag Trending Feb. 24 – Amazon sues fake reviewers; 3G network shutdown impacts vehicle updates; Virgin Hyperloop to only move cargo

Amazon tackles its fake reviews problem, shutting down 3G networks is hurting vehicle upgradability, and Virgin scraps plans to carry passengers in its Hyperloop transport system.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Thursday, February 24, and I’m your host, Samira Balsara.

It’s no news that some reviews of Amazon products are fake. Sometimes, the seller would incentivize buyers to leave favourable reviews in exchange for free products. Not only do these reviews mislead consumers, but they also erode Amazon’s rating credibility. This is why Amazon has been keen to address this problem by suing two fake review brokers AppSally and Rebatest. In addition to taking these unscrupulous actors to court, Amazon is also using machine-learning tools and human moderators to remove fake reviews. According to WCBC, It has even asked social media platforms to cull fake review communities on apps like Facebook and WhatsApp.

As the U.S is starting to wind down and turn off 3G mobile networks, some vehicles will be left without a way to receive updates. According to the CNBC, millions of vehicles are at risk of being cut off. AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon are all getting ready to turn off their respective 3G network infrastructure. But this was far from a spur-of-the-moment decision; telecom service providers have warned that they’d be turning off 3G for years. Despite the warning, vehicle makers continued to integrate 3G networks until as recently as 2021. Because these vehicles will no longer receive updates, they’ll also lose resale value. There isn’t a standard playbook for these older vehicles. While some manufacturers are offering upgrades or third-party alternatives to keep them working, many cars will be losing connected features permanently.

Virgin has abandoned plans to use its Hyperloop vacuum train to carry people, confirmed a company spokesperson to Financial times. Instead, it will strictly be used to move cargo. The ambitious project began in 2014 with the goal of moving cargo and people at the speed of passenger planes without the high cost. The system uses magnetic levitating trains inside a vacuum-sealed tube to essentially remove friction. The company spokesperson blamed supply chain issues and the impact of the pandemic as the culprits for the change.

Facebook has lost $500 billion since its rebranding to Meta five months ago. Amid a cohort of privacy investigations, accusations of causing mental harm, and new privacy policies of other web giants, Meta’s stock value has dropped by 30 per cent earlier this month, according to New York Mag. Still, the company is forging ahead with its pre-planned trajectory, which includes its unique vision of the metaverse.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Tom Li.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT World Canada. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at tli@itwc.ca.

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